GNCC Racing

Tuesday Toolbox: Morgan Moss

Monday, October 6, 2008 | 12:00 AM

Score one for the amateurs. At last weekend's Can-Am Unadilla GNCC, 200 C Schoolboy competitor Morgan Moss broke through to win the morning race bike overall. That's the first overall win by a non-sportsman class rider all year. Now Moss has the 200 C title locked up, so he's headed to the B class. Find out how this 16-year-old discovered hare scrambles, the GNCCs and success by reading on.

Interview by Jason Weigandt, Photos by Dave Smith,

Moss takes the Unadilla Morning Bike Overall.

Congratulations on that morning race win, Morgan. What made the difference with finally getting one at Unadilla?
I've been working really hard and really pushing for it. My dad made a bet at the beginning of the season. He bet me that if I could get into one of the top rows, toward the front off the start, that someone in my class could do it. So I had that pushing me. I had to get to the front.

Have you been close before?
There's been a couple where I've felt really fast, but then I would go and check the lap times and someone would be 30 seconds or a minute faster than me. So that was a bummer. But I have been getting top amateur and stuff.

Well, just winning a class is hard enough. Was that your goal at first?
At the beginning of the year I didn't know who would be in the class or what to expect from the other riders. After a few races, I started getting it dialed in, so I started looking closer at the overall.

Did you feel like you were on it at Unadilla?
I actually didn't think I was going that fast out there. I was trying to stay smooth and wrap up the championship. Then I got the pit board and I saw I was only 19 seconds out of the overall lead, so that made me push harder. The first half of the race, I wasn't expecting to be that close.

So you've wrapped up the 200 C title. Are you moving up?
Yeah in St. Clairsvile I will ride 205B.

So that was your last chance to win that overall.

And then the podium, it started raining right when you were up there. Was it a mess?
It wasn't that bad. The guy who got second place went for another lap, so he never got to go up there.

That's the same stage where David Knight got to celebrate another championship. What was it like to be up there?
It felt great!

Moss came to the GNCCs with a strong
idea of how to blast berms.

You're in the C class. Are you new to racing?
We're new to Hare Scrambles. I raced motocross coming up, I started when I was nine. I made Loretta's in the (7-11) class and then the next year I got hurt racing (12-13). It was my third severe concussion. That took me out. I was told I wouldn't be able to race again. I took a few years off. We weren't too familiar with hare scrambles. We're from Louisiana and they don't really have to many hare scrambles, because it's just too hot. But we got up to North Carolina and found out about them. One year we went and watched at Aiona (The General GNCC) and it looked really fun. Last year I started racing some of them, I did all right, but I had a lot to learn. This year is my first full year.

What did you have to learn?
Well last year, with my results, the biggest problem was trying to keep the bikes together. We set up our bikes totally different for hare scrambles than motocross. And my dad's not the best mechanic (laughs). He could keep the bike running for a five lap motocross race but not a hare scramble. So we had to learn how to do that. We used to run tubes, and that doesn't work, so we've switched to Tire Balls. I went to the Schoolboy Class because Ryan Belue did it last year and seemed to get a lot of attention. So I'm just trying to do what he did last year.

I know a lot of motocross guys have to learn how to cruise and stand up more instead of blasting every berm.
Yeah! I'm training and riding with (XC2 Lites rider) Johnny Barber right now. And at this practice track in the woods I would just rail every berm and rut. He was just standing up and going to the inside and stuff. He wasn't hitting them that hard, and I couldn't understand how he could look so smooth and look like he was going so slow, but he was killing me! He's helped me settle down. I stand up more and I don't nail everything I see.

What's the B class going to be like?
I don't know! I've been working hard. Robert Kondick from Florida is up here, too. We push each other pretty hard, so I hope that helps me. I think I'm ready for the three-hour race.

How old are you now?
I'm 16.

What are your plans for the future?
Right now I'm just focused on racing. That's all I'm working on right now.

Do you find yourself meeting more people now that you're winning?
Yeah. I'm meeting a lot more friends at the track, and a lot of people are coming up to me.

Do you like it?
Yeah it's a ton of fun. I like it just as much if not more than motocross. I miss the big jumps sometimes, but I really like it. And it's a great atmosphere. Everyone is really nice.

Moss (423) is graduating to the B class this weekend.

So how do you think you'll do this weekend?
I'm a little nervous. I'm going to ride 250 B on my 200, because I don't have a 250 yet. I want to start as close to the front as I can, so I will race the 250 class. I'll see what I can do. I'm riding 250 next year, anyway.

Why the 250 next year?
I'm going to be riding for Off-Camber Yamaha with the Mastin family. They ride Yamahas, and I don't want to ride a 125. So I'll ride the 250.

Will you be teammates with Johnny Barber on that team?
Yeah Johnny got me that deal. It should be fun.

Anyone you would like to thank?
I want to thank KTM World, No Fear, Smith, EVS, PG, Shoei, Renthal, Clock Work gas tanks, Thom Smith with Coppersmith suspension, Sidi boots, David with Race Day Pix (, Barney with Pirelli, and Johnny Barber.

Well cool. Congrats on the win and good luck in the B class this weekend.